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Things you should know before you go

Booking, confirmation/invoice and tickets

Once you have booked your holiday with us and we have received your deposit (full payment due at the time of booking if less than 60 days (90 for cruise and private train holidays) prior to departure), we will send you a confirmation/invoice. This will summarise the arrangements made on your behalf, the outstanding balance and the date by which it must be received by us. Please check these details carefully ensuring that the initials or forenames and surnames given match those on your passport as we make reservations using this information and any inaccuracies will cause problems at a later date. Please contact us immediately if there are any inaccuracies. As your holiday approaches, we write to you again approximately 10 weeks prior to your departure to remind you of certain points concerning your holiday. Then, approximately 10 days prior to departure date, your final holiday documentation is sent. Individual flight and train tickets are NOT usually sent out in advance, but are given out by your Tour Manager at check-in.

Foreign Office advice

You are responsible for making yourself aware of Foreign Office advice and warnings in regard to the safety of the countries and areas in which you will be travelling to and to make your decisions accordingly. Global and political situations do change. Your safety is our first consideration and if the Foreign Office advises against travel to a certain country, we act on this advice. Advice from the Foreign Office to avoid or leave a particular country may constitute Force Majeure. The Foreign Office issues regular advice and updates on its website www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice which you are recommended to consult before booking and in good time before departure.

Passports & travel documentation

Please note that you are entirely responsible for ensuring that everyone in your party has the necessary correct and up-to-date personal documentation before you start the holiday and that you all fulfil the passport, visa, health and immigration requirements applicable to your chosen tour. We do not accept any liability if you are refused entry onto any transport or into any country due to failure on your part to carry correct documentation. If failure to have any necessary travel or other documents results in fines, surcharges or other financial penalty, costs or expenses being imposed on us, you will be responsible for reimbursing us accordingly.

Visas

You must check immigration requirements with the relevant embassy or consulate of the country/countries that you plan to visit or transit through.

Our ability and that of our recommended visa agent to obtain any visa depends on you providing all information, documents (including your passport) and photographs, as applicable and accurately, when requested. If any application is refused or not granted in time and you are unable to travel on the holiday as a result, cancellation charges as shown in the booking conditions will apply.

It is your responsibility to check and fulfil the passport, visa, health and immigration requirements applicable to your itinerary. We do not accept any responsibility if you cannot travel, or incur any other loss because you have not complied with any passport, visa, immigration requirements or health formalities. You agree to reimburse us in relation to any fines or other losses which we incur as a result of your failure to comply with any passport, visa, immigration requirements or health formalities.

Insurance and holiday duration

It is a condition of booking that you take out sufficient and appropriate travel insurance cover. We recommend you do this at time of booking so that your deposit (less any applicable excess) is recoverable in the event of a cancellation covered by the policy. To purchase the insurance policy we offer please contact us for details. If you take out your own cover please provides us with details of the Insurance Company, the policy number and the 24-hour emergency telephone number when requested. It is your responsibility to ensure that the insurance cover you purchase is suitable and adequate for your particular needs. We do not check alternative insurance policies. The duration of the holiday in the brochure or on our website includes the day of departure and day of return and is the period to be used for insurance purposes. Read our policy details carefully and take them with you on holiday. Should you choose to extend your holiday (either at the start or the end of your holiday), you will need to extend the duration of your insurance cover. If you choose to travel without adequate insurance cover, we will not be liable for any losses howsoever arising, in respect of which insurance cover would otherwise have been available.

Disabilities, medical conditions and mobility

Regrettably, many of our tours are not suitable for customers with certain disabilities and they can also be physically demanding. Please let us know if you suffer from any medical condition or physical disability, which may affect your holiday arrangements or the booking process, or have any health or fitness concerns which may affect your ability to cope with the tour before any booking is made. If we are to help you choose the right holiday for your health, mobility and fitness, we must be aware of all details. Please note that Tour Managers cannot provide individual assistance with boarding trains or coaches, or handle your luggage. It is your responsibility to provide us with full and accurate details of your mobility, health and fitness (including any disability), so we can advise you on the suitability of tours. As standard practice all customers are asked at the point of booking whether they have any mobility limitations or health concerns which may impact on their holiday. Customers are required to provide all relevant information to ensure that this matter has been carefully considered and we are aware of any issues. If you are in any doubt as to whether the holiday you hope to book is suitable for you, please discuss this with our Reservations Team at the time of making your booking. We want all our customers to enjoy their holiday to the full, and are here to help answer any mobility, disability, health and fitness issues or concerns. You must advise us of any change in any disability or medical condition or in your health or level of mobility or if any medical condition or disability which may effect your holiday develops, between booking your holiday and joining your tour.

Health

It is your responsibility to ensure you are aware of all recommended vaccinations and health precautions in good time before departure. Details are available from your GP surgery and from the National Travel Health Network and Centre www.nathnac.org.

Vaccination and other health requirements/recommendations are subject to change at any time for any destination. Please therefore check with a doctor or clinic not less than six weeks prior to departure to ensure that you have met the necessary requirements and have the applicable information.

Accommodation

  • All our basic holiday prices are expressed in US$ and are per person, based on 2 people sharing.
  • Supplements for accommodation upgrades are usually expressed per room or cabin/sleeper, on the assumption that two people are occupying it.
  • Single supplements or prices are naturally expressed per person.
  • In some hotels, triple or family rooms may be available and we are happy to provide a quotation accordingly.
  • A hotel room shared by two people may contain a double or twin beds. In some countries a double bed may consist of two beds pushed or linked together.
  • A single hotel room may be a 'true' single or may be a single occupancy of a double or twin room. Either way, the supplement shown is payable.
  • Hotel rooms, particularly in older properties, may differ in size and amenities offered.
  • Sleeping accommodation on trains is likely to take the form of seating which converts into a berth at night.
  • Most hotel rooms and cabins on cruise ships include en suite facilities, which may be bath and WC or shower and WC.  Shared facilities exist on some tours and are specified on the relevant brochure page.
  • Rooms/cabins are not usually available before 2pm on day of arrival and must usually be vacated by 11am on day of departure. You may request a specific configuration, room type or room location but, while we pass on all requests to our hotel partners, neither we nor they can guarantee that what you request can or will be provided.

Meals

  • Please check the 'Included in your Tour' panels to see what meals are included on each holiday.
  • Hotels: Meals are generally taken in the restaurant of the hotel. We usually dine together, with a set 'table d'hote' style menu that will often feature regional dishes. Drinks are usually not included in our arrangements.
  • Trains: On private trains, most meals are included and are taken in the restaurant car of the train. If you are travelling Standard Premier Class on Eurostar a light meal and drinks are included, served at your seat.
  • Cruise Ships: Meals are normally included, and are taken in the ship's main restaurant.
  • Special diets: If you have a specific dietary need please discuss it with us before you book. We will do our best to cater for special diets when notified in advance however cannot guarantee that your requirements will be met. The more information we have, the better, but even then, some suppliers find it difficult to satisfy every requirement.  If you have a food allergy or intolerance you must declare it to us prior to travel so that we are able to notify our suppliers.

Meals on board (only in cruise specific brochures)

Please check the individual holiday itinerary and the 'Included in your Tour' panels to see what meals are included on each holiday. Once on board, each morning, enjoy a full buffet breakfast featuring a selection of fresh bread and pastries, eggs, fresh fruit, cheese and much more. For lunch on board, you can generally expect a full menu with several courses, or a light alternative such as a fresh salad buffet is usually available. Each evening on your cruise, you are treated to multi-course menus of regional or international specialities, all with a selection of wines available, and some cruises offer wine included in the price.

Meals times on board (only in cruise specific brochures)

Breakfast and lunch are flexible (normally between 7-9am and 12-2pm respectively), meanwhile dinner is generally taken at a more fixed time. Dinner can be either free seating or at an allocated table, depending on the capacity of the ship's restaurant, and is more of a formal experience, with several courses being served.

Shore excursions (only in cruise specific brochures)

On some cruises, shore excursions are included in the price of your holiday; however on other cruises they will be available at each of our ports of call, but at an additional cost - this information is clearly detailed on each tour page. Where shore excursions are optional and not included in the price of your holiday, there will be a selection of tours bookable on board at additional cost. You have the choice to buy these or explore independently. Prices for optional shore excursions vary depending on the contents and can be from, say, $15 for a guided walk to over $60 for a visit to a well known attraction with perhaps entertainment and a meal. A good rule of thumb is to budget approximately $30-$50 per person per shore excursion.  Some optional shore excursions are subject to minimum numbers, including minimum numbers of English speaking customers for the inclusion of English language guides. Where the shore excursion is an optional extra, it is not included in the package we sell to you and does not form part of your contracted arrangements with us. For any optional shore excursion that you book, your contract will be with the operator of the shore excursion and not with us. We are not responsible for the provision of the shore excursion or for anything that happens during the course of its provision by the operator.

Special evenings on board  (only in cruise specific brochures)

On most cruises, there will be a Welcome Reception on either the first or second night on board the ship, which is when the ship's officers and management present themselves to guests. In addition, there is normally a further gala event and a 'Farewell' evening at the end of your time on board.

Dress code  (only in cruise specific brochures)

Casual dress is fine on board during the day and low-heeled rubber soled shoes are recommended for strolling around the decks, with comfortable walking shoes or sandals for your time ashore. For the evening, smart casual dress is generally appropriate, and during 'Welcome' and 'Farewell' evenings and gala events, the recommended dress code includes jacket and tie for gentlemen and cocktail attire for ladies.

Money on board (only in cruise specific brochures)

Cruise ships operate a cash-less system, with incidental expenses (eg. purchases from the gift shop, optional shore excursions, bar purchases etc.) being signed for at the point of purchase. An account is established for each guest, and this is settled at the end of the cruise. To keep track of your expenses, you can normally check your account at any point through the cruise through the Ship's Purser or Reception Desk. At the end of the cruise, a final statement will be delivered to your cabin for payment through either the Ship's Purser or Reception. Several payment options exist, including credit and debit cards, approved ship currency or travellers cheques. Currency varies between ships and destinations - with the Euro being the most common.

Tips

The price of your holiday usually allows us to reward staff who serve you during your time on a GRJ holiday and on some occasions, your Tour Manager will provide a gratuity on behalf of the group. However, there are instances when an additional gratuity may be appropriate, perhaps because it is customary in your host country, or because of the nature of the activity undertaken, or simply because you have received exceptional service. Cruising has an established culture of tipping and your Tour Manager will be on hand to offer advice on this topic. Such additional gratuities will be on an individual basis and at your own discretion, however our river cruise partners recommend you should budget for tips of approximately $8-12 per person per day, provided you feel you have received good service. On ocean cruises there is a fixed service charge of US$11-12 per person per day plus a 15% gratuity automatically added to bar charges and wine purchases.

Tour itineraries & travel arrangements

Our holidays are planned many months in advance. We do our best to follow the detailed itineraries shown, but reserve the right to make changes if we need to react to schedule changes or local conditions. The sightseeing tours and excursions described may also have to be amended to suit local conditions or Public Holidays.

Rail reservations

We request rail reservations many months in advance but occasionally there are insufficient First Class (or equivalent) seats available. In these situations we will book Standard Class seats and refund the difference to you. Although we do our best to follow the routes noted in the itinerary there might be occasions when a different routing or departure time is necessary due to timetable variations or seat availability. Increasingly, trains are 100% non-smoking, and reservations are requested in non smoking accommodation, although at busy times we may be allocated some smoking seats. We cannot make specific requests for smoking seats. Prices quoted in this brochure are based on special fares, negotiated with our rail partners for group travel. Should you wish to travel on any Eurostar or other rail service, other than that included as part of your group holiday, a rail variation charge of $25 per person per service will apply in addition to the difference in cost between our special group fare and the normal published fare applicable at time of request for the journey in question. Any change involving sleeper services will be quoted on an individual basis. Tickets for Eurostar train services are issued subject to the conditions set out in Eurostar International Limited's conditions of carriage and/or the conditions of carriage of the carrier in question, copies of which are available from travel agents appointed by Eurostar International Limited or supplied on request.

Joining Eurostar at Ebbsfleet International

For travellers wishing to avoid London, many Great Rail Journeys tours can be arranged to depart from Ebbsfleet International. In some instances, travellers electing to depart from Ebbsfleet International may have to travel on an earlier train from the main group who depart from St Pancras International. See rail reservations above for applicable fees.

Travel delays

The vast majority of flights operate without problems, although the reality of air travel in the world today is that congestion and economic pressures can lead to the possibility of lost luggage, delay, cancellation and overbooking. Crowded airports, queues, check-in, security and flights are often a test of patience and endurance, and customers should be prepared to cope with the consequences of disruption including delays. In the event of undue delay the group will be looked after in accordance with the standard practice of the scheduled carrier or transport operator.

Flights

International flights are generally provided by major scheduled airlines and are usually but not always direct to your destination. Where flights are indirect, your baggage will always be checked through to your final destination.  Your holiday price is based on economy class seating unless otherwise specified.  If known at time of printing, we show the name of the airline we plan to fly with although this can be subject to change. The type of aircraft is not usually known at the time of printing, but if it is of interest to you we are happy to provide this information when we can. Regardless of any information given in good faith, operational changes can be made by an airline at any point and we cannot be responsible for this. Prices quoted in this brochure are based on special fares offered to us by the airlines for group travel. These represent a reduction on the normal IATA fares which generally include greater flexibility. Should you wish to book our holiday using a flight other than that shown in the brochure, a flight variation charge of $50 per person will apply in addition to the difference in cost between our special fare and the normal IATA fare for the flight(s) required. Tickets at our special fare are valid only on the airline and dates shown and do not automatically entitle passengers to switch to another carrier in the case of a flight cancellation, delay or technical problem with the aircraft or the reservation. While we pass on any airline seating requests, no guarantees can be given by us or by the airline. Additional leg-room will be provided if you purchase a flight upgrade.

Maintenance and development work

Every holiday visits a number of different destinations. There may well be maintenance, re-development, building, road works or track work in the vicinity of any of the hotels. If we know about such work and any associated disruption or noise which is reasonably likely to affect the enjoyment of your holiday, we make every effort to tell you about it as quickly as possible. Please appreciate that we are not the only passengers travelling on the trains or ships used in our holidays, nor the only guests staying in the hotels. We cannot be held responsible for the behaviour or noise of others.

Overseas standards

In some countries, you may experience laws and standards that might not be the same as you are used to in the US. On some vacations we visit countries with less advanced infrastructures. Travellers with an open, yet cautious mind and a flexible approach should enjoy the experience.

Our ABTA membership

Great Rail Journeys is a tour operator member of ABTA Ltd, and our ABTA number is V2170. We are obliged to maintain a high standard of service to you by ABTA's Code of Conduct. We can also offer you ABTA's scheme for the resolution of disputes which is approved by the Chartered Trading Standards Institute. If we can't resolve your complaint, go to www.abta.comto use ABTA's simple procedure. Further information on the Code and ABTA's assistance in resolving disputes can be found on www.abta.com. You can also access the European Commission Online Dispute (ODR) Resolution platform at http://ec.europa.eu/consumers/odr/. This ODR platform is a means of registering your complaint with us; it will not determine how your complaint should be resolved.

ATOL protection

Our ATOL number is 3278. All the flights and flight-inclusive holidays* in this brochure or on our website are financially protected by the ATOL scheme. When you pay, you will be supplied with an ATOL Certificate. Please ask for it and check to ensure that everything you booked (flights, hotels and other services) is listed on it. Please see clause 19 of our booking conditions for further information or for more information about financial protection and the ATOL Certificate go to http://www.atol.org.uk/ATOLCertificate.

*The flights and flight-inclusive holidays we arrange are ATOL protected providing they are made available in the UK.

Our AITO membership

Great Rail Journeys is a member of the Association of Independent Tour Operators, an organisation representing over 150 of Britain's best specialist tour operators. Members of AITO strive to create holidays with high levels of professionalism and a shared concern for quality, personal service and customer satisfaction. The Association encourages the highest standards in all aspects of tour operating and all members are fully bonded for clients' protection, in compliance with UK and European regulations. Great Rail Journeys - like all other AITO members - are also bound by the organisation's Quality Charter. For further information about AITO visit www.aito.com or call 020 8744 9280.

AITO Quality Charter

AITO is the Association for independent and specialist holiday companies. Our member companies, usually owner-managed, strive to create overseas holidays with high levels of professionalism and a shared concern for quality and personal service. The Association encourages the highest standards in all aspects of tour operating.

Exclusive membership

AITO sets criteria regarding ownership, finance and quality which must be satisfied before new companies are admitted to membership. All members are required t adhere to a Code of Business Practice which encourages high operational standards and conduct.

Financial security

An AITO member is required to arrange financial protection for all holidays and other arrangements (including accommodation only) booked by customers with the member under the AITO logo. This financial protection applies to customers who are resident in the UK at the time of booking and to most overseas customers who have booked directly with the member. In doing so, the member must comply with UK Government regulations. Members are required to submit details of their financial protection arrangements to AITO on a regular basis.

Accurate brochures and websites

All members do their utmost to ensure that all their brochures and other publications print or electronic, clearly and accurately describe the holidays and services offered.

Professional service and continual improvements

All members are committed to high standards of service and believe in regular and through training of employees. Members continually seek to review and improve their holidays. They listen to their customers and always welcome suggestions for improving standards.

Monitoring standards

AITO endeavours to monitor quality standards regularly. All customers should receive a post-holiday questionnaire from their tour operators, the results of which are scrutinised by the Association.

In addition, customers can leave detailed feedback, accessible from the homepage of AITO's website, or via a direct link supplied by their AITO tour operator, about their holiday.

Sustainable tourism

Our members acknowledge the importance if AITO's Sustainable Tourism ethos, which recognises the social, economic and environmental responsibilities of tour operating.

Customer relations

All members endeavour to deal swiftly and fairly with any issues their customers may raise. In the unlikely event that a dispute between an AITO member and a customer cannot be settled amicably, AITO's low-cost Independent Dispute Settlement Service may be called upon by either side to bring the matter to a speedy and acceptable conclusion. For further information about AITO visit www.aito.com or call 020 8744 9280.

Links to external websites

Throughout the website we provide links to external websites owned by third parties, for example the Foreign & Commonwealth Office and the Department of Health. Please note that such third parties are not ABTA members and that Great Rail Journeys Ltd is not responsible for the content of their sites. For links to each page of this website, see our website sitemap.

Important information about Great Rail Journeys

Head office and contact address:

Great Rail Journeys Ltd
Saviour House
9 St Saviourgate
York
YO1 8NL

Tel: 1-866-711-2858
Email: grj@greatrail.com

Registered in England No: 3208093
VAT Registration No: 870 3844 14

 

Your Agreement with Great Rail Journeys Limited

The following booking conditions and any other written information we brought to your attention before we confirmed your booking, form the basis of your contract with Great Rail Journeys North America PLC trading as Great Rail Journeys of 3rd Floor, 369 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY10017, USA, incorporated in Delaware (No. 6377173), Tel: Toll Free 1-866-834-8382 ("we" or "us"). Please read them carefully as they set out our respective rights and obligations. By indicating your assent orally, in writing, or online, we are entitled to assume that you have read these booking conditions and agree to them. References to "you" and "your" means all persons named on the booking (including anyone who is added or substituted at a later date), or any of them as applicable. References to "tour", "booking" or "arrangements" means the tour arrangements which we agree to make as part of our contract with you, unless otherwise stated.

By making a booking, the first named person on the booking ("party leader") agrees on behalf of all persons detailed on the booking that:

a) He/she has read these terms and conditions and has the authority to and does agree to be bound by them;

b) He/she consents to our use of information in accordance with our Privacy Policy;

c) He/she is at least 18 years of age and where placing an order for services with age restrictions declares that he/she and all members of the party are of the appropriate age to purchase those services; and

d) He/she accepts financial responsibility for payment of the booking on behalf of all persons named on the booking.

1. Making your booking

You may book with us by telephone, online or via one of our authorized travel agents. Once we (or your authorized travel agent) have received all appropriate payments, we will, subject to availability, confirm your tour over the telephone (where you or your travel agent make the booking by telephone) or by e-mailing or otherwise sending a booking confirmation letter/invoice to the party leader. We reserve the right to return your deposit and decline to issue a confirmation in our absolute discretion on a non-discriminatory basis. Where you book through one of our authorized travel agents, the booking confirmation letter/invoice and all other communications will be sent to your agent and you should also contact us through the agent. Alternatively, you can book online via our website in which case your tour booking will be acknowledged by e-mail and a booking confirmation letter/invoice will follow. The acknowledgement of your booking is not a confirmation of it and does not create a legally binding contract. A binding contract between you and us only comes into existence once we have issued you with a booking confirmation that will confirm the details of your booking and will be sent to you or your travel agent. All references in these booking conditions to the confirmation of your booking means the booking confirmation letter/invoice. A provisional booking can be made by phone but you must send the applicable payment within 7 days, or the provisional booking will automatically lapse.

Upon receipt of the booking confirmation or any other document, please check all of the details carefully. In particular, please check that the initials or forenames and surnames given match those on your passport as we make reservations using this information. If you believe that any details are wrong, you must advise us immediately as changes cannot be made later and it may harm your rights if we are not notified of any inaccuracies in any document within ten days of our sending it out (five days for airline or railroad tickets).  We will do our best to rectify any mistake notified to us outside these time limits but you must pay any costs involved in doing so. The only exception to this requirement to pay costs is where the mistake in question was made by us and there is good reason why you did not tell us about it within these time limits.

2. Payment

You are required to send us the appropriate deposit per person (as detailed on the relevant tour page) or full payment if booking within 60 days of departure (90 days for cruise and private rail tours) and all applicable insurance premiums (if our insurance is required) at the time of booking. In addition to the deposit applicable to the tour, a further additional deposit is required of a minimum of 20% of the additional cost for any booking variations including flight and hotel upgrades and tour extensions. Please note, deposits and all additional deposits are not refundable except where expressly stated in these booking conditions. The balance of the cost of your tour must be paid no less than 60 days before departure (90 days for cruise and private rail tours). If a cheque payment is declined by your bank for any reason, an administration charge of US$50 will be made. If we do not receive all payments in full and on time, we are entitled to assume that you wish to cancel your booking. In this case, we will be entitled to keep all deposits paid or due at that date. If we do not cancel straight away because you have promised to make payment, you must pay the cancellation charges shown in clause 8 depending on the date your booking is deemed cancelled.

All monies you pay to one of our authorized travel agents for your tour with us will be held by the agent on your behalf until a contract between us comes into existence. After that point, your agent will hold the monies on our behalf until they are paid to us.

3. Passports, Visas and other entry requirements

Please note that you are entirely responsible for ensuring that everyone in your party has the necessary correct and up-to-date personal documentation before you start the tour and that you all fulfil the passport, visa, health and immigration requirements applicable to your chosen tour. We do not accept any liability if you are refused entry onto any transport or into any country due to failure on your part to carry correct documentation. If failure to have any necessary travel or other documents results in fines, surcharges or other financial penalty, costs or expenses being imposed on us, you will be responsible for reimbursing us accordingly.

International travel requires a passport valid 6 months beyond your intended return travel date. In most cases, you will also need to have multiple consecutive blank visa pages within your passport (the number varies depending on the destination(s)). If your passport expires before this, it may still be acceptable, but you should contact your local passport office or the consulate or embassy of the country/countries you plan to visit/transit through, for detailed advice. Information is also available on or through the U.S. State Department website for US citizens www.travel.state.gov. Customers applying for a first passport or renewing their passport should allow at least six weeks to obtain one, however, in all cases, please apply as far ahead as possible so as to allow time for unexpected delays and consult the U.S. State Department website for US citizens www.travel.state.gov for current processing times.

Many destinations also require that visas be obtained prior to travel including any additional visas or other documents required when travelling on any of our cruise tours that visit other ports/countries independently. Also, if one parent or guardian plans to bring a minor child without the other parent or parents, some nations require written notarized permission from the parent(s) and have very strict documentation requirements and birth certificates may be required for children under 18.

Some nations require proof of vaccinations for all travelers. It is your responsibility to ensure you are aware of all recommended vaccinations and health precautions in good time before departure.  For medical information, we recommend contacting the Centers for Disease Control at (877) FYI-TRIP or www.cdc.gov/travel. Vaccination and other health requirements/recommendations are subject to change at any time for any destination. Please therefore check with a doctor or clinic not less than six weeks prior to departure to ensure that you have met the necessary requirements and have the applicable information.

For information concerning passports, visa and other entry requirements for any destination, we recommend contacting the US Passports & International Travel Section of the U.S. State Department at (877) 487-2778 or www.travel.state.gov, or speak with your authorized travel agent if you are unsure about the visa requirements for your travel destination.

4. Travel insurance

It is a condition of booking that you arrange and take out sufficient and appropriate travel insurance coverage. We recommend you do this at time of booking so that your deposit (less any applicable excess) is recoverable in the event of a cancellation covered by the policy. Please provide us with details of the Insurance Company, the policy number and the 24-hour emergency telephone number when requested. It is your responsibility to ensure that the insurance coverage you purchase is suitable and adequate for your particular needs. The duration of the tour in the brochure or on our website includes the day of departure and day of return and is the period to be used for insurance purposes. Please read your policy details carefully and take them with you on tour. Should you choose to extend your tour (either at the start or the end of your tour), you will need to extend the duration of your insurance coverage. If you choose to travel without adequate insurance coverage, we will not be liable for any losses however arising.

5. Tour Prices

Please note changes and errors occasionally occur. We reserve the right to increase/decrease and correct errors in advertised prices at any time before your tour is confirmed. Before you make a booking, we will give you the basic price for your chosen tour. You should check all details before you make your booking. Upgrades, tour extensions or any other variation which you have requested are on a request basis with our suppliers and subject to availability, and prices for these will only be confirmed once the prices and availability has been confirmed by our suppliers. For all tours, once you have accepted the basic price and a booking has been confirmed, that price is fully guaranteed and will not be subject to any surcharges.

6. Suitability of the Tour and behavior

We reserve the right in our absolute discretion to terminate without prior notice the tour arrangements of any customer whose behavior is such that it causes or is likely to cause, in our reasonable opinion, or in the opinion of any Tour Manager or any other person in authority, distress, damage, danger or significant annoyance to any third party, or damage to property. In these circumstances all our obligations to you under our contract or otherwise will cease, full cancellation charges will apply and we will not be liable for any refund or costs incurred by you whatsoever. Our tours can be physically demanding and we also reserve the right to terminate your tour where, in the reasonable opinion of any person in authority (including office staff or your Tour Manager when you join your tour), your physical condition means you are unable or likely to be unable to cope with the tour or to experience significant difficulties in doing so. It is your responsibility to disclose an accurate account of your mobility and all other relevant information relating to your health and fitness at the time of booking. You must advise us of any change to your level of mobility or health and fitness between booking your tour and departing on your tour. Please also see also clause 16.

7. Alterations to your booking and transfers

Please notify us in writing if circumstances arise whereby you wish to transfer to another available tour in any of our brochures or on our website, depart on a different date or make other alterations to your confirmed tour. Any alterations requested 60 days or more (90 days or more for cruise and private rail tours) prior to departure will be subject to a minimum alteration fee of US$50 per person together with costs or charges incurred or imposed by any of our suppliers. Any alteration to your booking requested less than 60 days (90 days for cruise and private rail tours) prior to departure will be regarded as a cancellation and cancellation charges as set out in clause 8 will be payable. Name changes can be made up to 21 days prior to departure for a minimum alteration fee of US$50 per person together with any costs or charges incurred or imposed by any of our suppliers. You should be aware that these costs could increase the closer to the departure date that changes are made and you should contact us as soon as possible.

Please be aware that certain arrangements, such as some flight bookings, may not be amended after they have been confirmed and any alteration could incur a cancellation charge of up to 100% of that part of the arrangements.

If any member of your party is prevented from travelling, that person(s) may transfer their place to someone else (introduced by you and satisfying all the conditions applicable to the arrangements) providing we are notified not less than 28 days before departure and you pay a minimum amendment fee of US$50 per person transferring, meet all costs and charges incurred by us and/or incurred or imposed by any of our suppliers and the transferee agrees to these booking conditions and all other terms of the contract between us.  If you are unable to find a replacement, cancellation charges as set out will apply in order to cover our estimated costs. Otherwise, no refunds will be given for passengers not travelling or for unused services.

8. Cancellation by you

Should you wish to cancel your tour, notice can be given verbally but must be followed up in writing by the party leader. Your notice of cancellation will only take effect when it is received in writing by us. Since we incur costs in cancelling your arrangements, you will be required to pay the applicable cancellation charges below. The amount of the cancellation fee depends upon the date when the written notice of cancellation is received by us. Where the cancellation charge is shown as a percentage, this is calculated on the basis of the total cost payable by the person(s) cancelling, excluding any amendment charges which are not normally refundable. The scale of cancellation charges is as follows:

 

Cruise & Private Rail Tours

All other tours

91 days or earlier

Loss of deposit*

Loss of deposit*

From 61 to 90 days

45% of final invoice

Loss of deposit*

From 41 to 60 days

60% of final invoice

35% of final invoice

From 28 to 40 days

75% of final invoice

60% of final invoice

From 14 to 27 days

90% of final invoice

85% of final invoice

13 days or less prior to departure

100% of final balance

100% of final balance

 

*Loss of Deposit means the loss of the full brochure deposit amount, including the outstanding balance of any 'low deposit' payment you have made, and includes loss of any additional deposit paid for tour variations and tour extensions as referred to in clause 2.

We will deduct the cancellation charge(s) from any monies you have already paid to us.

Depending on the reason for cancellation, you may be able to reclaim these cancellation charges (less any applicable excess) under the terms of your insurance policy. Claims must be made directly to the insurance company concerned. Where any cancellation reduces the number of full paying party members below the number on which the price, or any concessions agreed for your booking were based, we will recalculate these items and re-invoice you accordingly. Any such additional costs are not cancellation charges.

Note: Certain arrangements may not be amended after they have been confirmed and any alteration or cancellation could incur a cancellation charge of up to 100% of that part of the arrangements in addition to the charge above. 

9. Changes and cancellations by us

We start planning the tours we offer many months in advance and occasionally, we have to correct errors and/or make changes to the information contained in our brochures, our website and other details, both before and after bookings have been confirmed, and also cancel confirmed bookings (which would for the avoidance of doubt expressly include any variations or extensions booked by you and which are part of the package and your confirmed booking).While we always endeavor to avoid changes and cancellations, we must reserve the right to do so.

Minor changes by us: A minor change is any change which is not a significant change as referred to below.

Significant changes by us: A significant change is any change which, taking account of the information you have given us at the time of booking or which we can reasonably be expected to know as a tour operator, we could reasonably expect to have a significant effect on your confirmed tour. Occasionally, we have to make a "significant change" before departure such as a change of accommodation to that of a lower official classification or standard for the whole or a major part of the time you are away, a change of accommodation area for the whole or a major part of the time you are away, a change of outward departure time or overall length of time you are away of twelve or more hours, a change of departure point to one which is significantly more inconvenient for you or a significant change of itinerary missing out one or more major destination substantially or altogether.

Cancellations by us: All our escorted tours are organized on the basis of a minimum number of clients (usually 15). In the unlikely event the tour (which would include any individually purchased variations or extensions), has to be cancelled because of insufficient numbers, you will be informed at least 60 days (90 days for cruise and private rail tours) prior to departure.

If we have to make a significant change or cancel, we will tell you as soon as possible and if there is time to do so before departure, we will offer you the choice of the following options:

a)        accepting the changed arrangements; or

b)        purchasing an alternative tour from us, of a similar standard to that originally booked if available. We will offer you at least one alternative tour of equivalent or higher standard for which you will not be asked to pay any more than the price of the original tour. If this tour is in fact cheaper than the original one, we will refund the price difference. If you do not wish to accept the tour we specifically offer you, you may choose any of our other, then available, tours. You must pay the applicable price of any such tour. This will mean you paying more if it is more expensive or receiving a refund if it is cheaper; or

c)         cancelling or accepting the cancellation in which case you will receive a full refund of all monies you have paid to us (including, where appropriate, the price paid for any tour extensions or additional service purchased from us and included in your package).

Please note the above options are not available where any change made is a minor one.

If we have to make a significant change before departure we may, where appropriate, pay you a partial refund depending on the circumstances and when the significant change or cancellation is notified to you.  Please note: where accommodation with a higher price than the original accommodation is offered by us and accepted by you, the difference in price will be deducted from any amount payable. In no case will we pay any refund if accommodation is offered by us and accepted by you with a higher price than that originally booked in the same location where no additional payment is made by you.

A refund will not, however, be payable and no liability, beyond offering the above mentioned choices, can be accepted where:

a)        we are forced to make a change or cancel as a result of unusual and unforeseeable circumstances beyond our control, the consequences of which we could not have avoided even with all due care; or

b)        we have to cancel because the minimum number of client bookings required to run your tour has not been reached and we have notified you at least 60 days (90 days for cruise and private rail tours) before departure; or

c)         we cancel as a result of your failure to comply with any requirement of these booking conditions entitling us to cancel (such as paying on time).

In any of the circumstances referred to above we will not therefore be liable for the cost of any service (such as, but not limited to, flights, hotels and connecting rail travel) which is purchased in connection with any tour but which is not booked through us, or for any related expenses such as cancellation charges or amendment fees for any service which cannot be used or has to be cancelled or amended as a result of our having to cancel or make a significant change to any tour.

If we cancel the tour before departure, a full refund will be promptly paid to you, if you are not at fault and had not canceled in violation of any terms of this agreement, unless you otherwise advised us in writing. This provision does not apply where we have remitted your payment to a supplier that defaults in providing the agreed-upon transportation or service and does not provide us with a refund. In this situation, we will provide you with a written statement accompanied by bank records showing our payment.

10. Force Majeure

We assume no responsibility for any personal injury, property damage, or other loss, accident, delay, inconvenience, or irregularity which may be occasioned by reason of any matter beyond our or our exclusive control including but not limited to a delay or cancellation of a flight that causes you to miss all or any portion of the tour, acts of God, acts of government, war, terrorist acts, riots, disaster, weather extremes, or strikes. We have no special knowledge regarding the financial condition of the suppliers of services, unsafe conditions, health hazards, weather hazards, or climate extremes at locations to which you may travel.  For information concerning possible dangers at destinations, we recommend contacting the Travel Warnings Section of the U.S. State Department at (202) 647-5225 or www.travel.state.gov, and click on "Travel Warnings." For medical information, we recommend contacting the Centers for Disease Control at (877) FYI-TRIP or www.cdc.gov/travel. Advice from either the U.S. or UK government to avoid or leave a particular country may constitute force majeure (as described in clause 11 below)

11. Government Safety Warnings

You are responsible for making yourself aware of U.S. State Department advice and warnings in regard to the safety of the countries and areas in which you will be travelling to and to make your decisions accordingly. Global and political situations do change. Your safety is our first consideration and if the U.S. State Department or the UK Foreign Office advises against travel to a certain country, we act on this advice. Advice from either of them to avoid or leave a particular country may constitute Force Majeure. Both government offices issue regular advice and updates on their websites in the U.S. at www.travel.state.gov and in the UK at www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice which you are recommended to consult before booking and again in good time prior to departure.

12. Our liability to you

We act only in the capacity of agent for the suppliers of the travel services named in your Itinerary or otherwise providing services or goods in connection with your tour, such as railroads, airlines, hotels and other lodging providers, local hosts, sightseeing tour operators, bus lines, car rental companies, driving services, restaurants, and providers of entertainment.

We will not be responsible for any injury, illness, death, loss (including loss of possessions and loss of enjoyment), damage, expense, cost or other sum or claim of any description whatsoever which results from any of the following:

a)        the act(s) and/or omission(s) of the person(s) affected or any member(s) of their party

b)        the act(s) and/or omission(s) of a third party, including the suppliers of travel and other services for the tour or

c)         "force majeure" as defined in clause 10 above.

Please note we cannot accept responsibility for any services which do not form part of our contract. This includes, for example, any additional services or facilities which your hotel or any other supplier agrees to provide for you where the services or facilities are not advertised in our brochure or on our website and we have not agreed to arrange them as part of our contract and any excursion you purchase during your tour. Please also see clause 17 "Excursions, Activities and Brochure/Website Information".

We limit the amount we may have to pay you if we are found liable to twice the price paid by or on behalf of the person(s) affected in total. This maximum amount will only be payable where you or your party have not received any benefit at all from your booking. When making any payment, we are entitled to deduct any money which you have received or are entitled to receive from the transport provider or hotelier for the complaint or claim in question.

Please note, we cannot accept any liability for any damage, loss, expense or other sum(s) of any nature or description which on the basis of the information given to us by you concerning your booking prior to our accepting it, we could not have foreseen you would suffer or incur if we breached our contract with you. Additionally, we cannot accept liability for any business losses or expenses including, without limitation, self-employed loss of earnings.

13. Complaints and problems

In the unlikely event that you have any reason to complain or experience any problems with your tour while away, you must immediately inform your Tour Manager and the supplier of the service(s) in question. Any verbal notification must be put in writing and given to your Tour Manager and the supplier as soon as possible. Until we know about a problem or complaint, we cannot begin to resolve it. Most problems can be dealt with quickly. If you remain dissatisfied, however, you must write to us within 28 days of your return from your tour giving your booking reference and full details of your complaint. Only the party leader should write to us. If you fail to follow this simple complaints procedure, anything you may otherwise have been entitled to may be affected or even lost as a result.

14. Conditions of suppliers

Many of the services which make up your tour are provided by independent suppliers. Those suppliers provide these services in accordance with their own terms and conditions. Some of these terms and conditions may limit or exclude the supplier's liability to you. Copies of the relevant parts of these terms and conditions are available on request from us or the supplier concerned.

15. Special Requests

If you have any special requests, we will make reasonable efforts to accommodate them or cause our suppliers to accommodate them, but you must advise us in writing at the time of booking. We regret we cannot guarantee any request will be met unless we have specifically confirmed this. For your own protection, you should obtain confirmation in writing from us that your request will be complied with (where it is possible for us to give this) if your request is important to you. Confirmation that a special request has been noted or passed on to the supplier or the inclusion of the special request on your confirmation letter/invoice or any other documentation is not confirmation that the request will be met. Unless and until specifically confirmed, all special requests are subject to availability. We regret we cannot accept any conditional bookings, i.e. any booking which is specified to be conditional on the fulfilment of a particular request.

All such bookings will be treated as "standard" bookings subject to the above provisions on special requests.

16. Medical Conditions/Disabilities/Reduced Mobility

Regrettably, many of our tours are not suitable for customers with certain disabilities and they can also be physically demanding. If you have any medical condition or disability which may affect your tour or any health, fitness or mobility concerns which may affect your ability to cope with the tour, please give us full details before you confirm your booking so that we can advise as to the suitability of the chosen arrangements. We will make reasonable efforts to accommodate special needs or cause our suppliers to accommodate them, but, if we are to help you choose the right tour for your health, mobility and fitness, we must be aware of all details. Please note that Tour Managers cannot provide individual assistance with boarding trains or coaches, or handle your luggage. It is your responsibility to provide us with full and accurate details of your mobility, health and fitness (including any disability), so we can advise you on the suitability of tours. As standard practice all customers are asked at the point of booking whether they have any mobility limitations or health concerns which may impact on their tour. Customers are required to provide all relevant information to ensure that this matter has been carefully considered and we are aware of any issues. We may require you to produce a doctor's certificate certifying that you are fit to participate in the tour. Acting reasonably, if we are unable to properly accommodate the needs of the person(s) concerned, we will not confirm your booking or if you did not give us full details at the time of booking, we will cancel it and impose applicable cancellation charges when we become aware of these details.

You must also advise us as soon as possible of any change in any disability or medical condition or your health, fitness or mobility or if any medical condition or disability which may affect your tour develops after your booking has been confirmed. Please also see clause 5.

17. Excursions, Activities and Brochure/Website information

The information contained in our brochure and on our website is correct to the best of our knowledge at the time of the brochure going to print or at the time of publication on our website. While every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the brochure and prices at the time of printing or publication, regrettably errors do occasionally occur. You must therefore ensure you check all details of your chosen tour (including the price) with us at the time of booking.

We may provide you with information (in our brochure, on our website and/or when you are on tour) about activities and excursions which are available in the area you are visiting but cannot be pre-booked with us or otherwise purchased via ourselves. We have no involvement in any such activities or excursions which are not run, supervised, controlled, inspected or endorsed in any way by us. They are provided by local operators or other third parties who are entirely independent of us. They do not form any part of your contract with us even where we or your Tour Manager suggest particular operators/other third parties and/or assist you in booking such activities or excursions in any way. We cannot accept any liability on any basis in relation to such activities or excursions. We cannot guarantee accuracy at all times of information given in relation to such activities or excursions or about the area(s) you are visiting generally (except where this concerns the services which will form part of your contract) or that any particular excursion or activity which does not form part of our contract will take place as these services are not under our control. If you feel that any of the activities or excursions mentioned in our brochure or on our website which are not part of our contract are vital to the enjoyment of your tour, write to us immediately and we will tell you the latest known situation.

18. Flights

Where we are only able to inform you of the likely carrier(s) at the time of booking, we will inform you of the identity of the actual carrier(s) as soon as we become aware of this. Any change to the operating carrier(s) and/or flight routings (including indirect routings) after your booking has been confirmed will be notified to you as soon as possible. We are not always in a position at the time of booking to confirm flight routings and/or flight timings. Where flight routings and/or flight timings are given at the time of booking or detailed on your confirmation letter/invoice these are for guidance only and are subject to alteration and confirmation. The latest timings will be shown on your itinerary which will be dispatched to you approximately 10 days prior to departure. You must accordingly check your tickets very carefully immediately on receipt to ensure you have the correct flight times. It is possible that flight times may be changed even after tickets have been dispatched. We will contact you as soon as possible if this occurs. Any change in the identity of the carrier(s), flight timings, routings (including a change from direct to indirect routings) and/or aircraft type (if given) will not entitle you to cancel or change to other arrangements without paying our normal charges except where specified in these conditions. Regardless of any information given in good faith, operational changes may be made by an airline at any point and we cannot be responsible for these. Prices quoted in this brochure and on our website are based on special airfares offered to us by the airlines for group travel. These represent a reduction on the normal IATA fares which entitle passengers to privileges and flexibility that our clients do not normally require as part of the tour. Should you wish to book our tour using a flight other than that shown in the brochure/on our website, a minimum flight variation charge from US$50 per person will apply in addition to the difference in cost between our special fare and the normal IATA fare for the flight(s) required. Tickets at our special fare are valid only on the airline and dates shown and do not automatically entitle passengers to switch to another carrier in case of a flight cancellation, delay or technical problems with the aircraft or the reservation. Please note that most airlines now operate 100% non-smoking services.

19. Rail Journeys and Reservations

We request rail reservations many months in advance but occasionally there are insufficient First Class seats available. In these situations, we will book Standard Class seats and refund the difference to you. Although we do our best to follow the routes noted on the itinerary there might be occasions when a different routing and/or departure time is necessary due to timetable variations or seat availability. Regardless of any information given by us in good faith, operational changes may be made by a railroad supplier/operator at any point and without notice, and we cannot be responsible for these. Increasingly, trains are 100% non-smoking, and reservations are requested in non-smoking accommodation, although at busy times we may be allocated some smoking seats.

We cannot make specific requests for smoking seats. Prices quoted in this brochure and on our website are based on special fares negotiated with our railroad partners for group travel. Should you wish to travel on any Eurostar or other railroad service, other than those included as part of your group tour, a minimum rail variation charge from US$50 per person per service plus any additional cost will apply. Any change involving sleeper services will be quoted on an individual basis.

Tickets for Eurostar rail services are issued subject to the conditions set out in Eurostar International Limited's conditions of carriage and/or the conditions of carriage of the carrier in question, copies of which are available from travel agents appointed by Eurostar International Limited or supplied on request.

20. Data Protection

Please be assured that we have measures in place to protect the personal information you give us. This information will be passed on to the relevant suppliers of your travel arrangements. It may also be provided, either by us or by the suppliers of your travel arrangements, to third parties and public authorities such as banks and credit card companies, customs or immigration if required by them, or as required by law. Certain information may also be passed on to security or credit checking companies or insurance providers. The above applies to any sensitive information that you give to us such as details of any disabilities, medical conditions, or dietary/religious requirements but we will obviously only pass these on where necessary to do so to provide the service you have requested. If we cannot pass on this information as set out above, we may be unable to provide your booking or other services you have requested (for example, travel insurance). In making your booking, you consent to this information being passed on as set forth above.

We would like to use your details for marketing purposes (e.g. sending you our brochures) and to pass them on to other companies within our group who may also contact you for marketing purposes. If you do not wish to receive any further information from us or other companies in our group please let us know this at the time you give us your details or, if you do not do so then, at any time subsequently. To improve our service, calls may be recorded for training and quality purposes.

21. Governing Law and Arbitration

The law of the U.S. State in which you reside (and no other) will apply to your contract and to any dispute, claim or other matter of any description which arises between us ("claim").  In lieu of litigation and jury trial, each of which is expressly waived, any dispute concerning, relating or referring to this agreement, the tour, or our website shall be resolved exclusively by binding arbitration in New York, NY, according to the then existing commercial rules of the American Arbitration Association before a single arbitrator. The arbitrator and not any federal, state, or local court or agency shall have exclusive authority to resolve any dispute relating to the interpretation, applicability, enforceability, unconscionability, or formation of this agreement, including but not limited to any claim that all or any part of this agreement is void or voidable. You agree to present any claims against us within 28 days after the tour ends and to request arbitration within one year of the incident, and you acknowledge that this expressly limits the applicable statute of limitations to one year.

22. U.S. Seller of Travel Regulations

CST 2130823-50.  This Seller of Travel is not a participant in the California Travel Consumer Restitution Fund. California law requires certain sellers of travel to have a trust account or bond. This business has a bond issued by Hudson Insurance Company in the amount of US$5,000.00.

Great Rail Journeys is registered with the State of Florida as a Seller of Travel Registration No. ST40974.

The Modern Slavery Act (2015)

Great Rail Journeys as a leading UK Tour Operator, is fully aware of its obligations and responsibilities under the Modern Slavery Act (2015).

Great Rail Journeys confirms it does not engage in Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking and it will not knowingly deal with any business that does.

It also recognises the role its suppliers and their sub-contractors play in ensuring that they, in turn, act ethically and with integrity with regards to the Act.

As such, Great Rail Journeys is working towards identifying and assessing potential risk within its supply chains, mitigating any such risk and monitoring the same moving forward.